Baglung Municipality facing loss continuously after operation of Balewa Airport

Baglung Municipality in the hope of providing effective flights services to tourist and local made an agreement with the airlines companies to pay equal amount of air ticket in the absence of passengers which has resulted in continuous loss for the Municipality due to less than minimum flow of passengers.

After 26 years of closure, Balewa Airport had resumed its operation. However, Baglung Municipality has been paying ticket price to airlines due to continuous lack of passengers.

Baglung Municipality had to pay worth of Rs 56000 to airlines on Thursday’s flight only. According to the agreement, there should have been 12 passengers in one flight. Unfortunately, there were 11 passengers in the flight from Kathmandu to Balewa whereas 3 passengers in returning flight from Balewa to Kathmandu on Thursday.

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) halted its flight operation for three months due to lack of aircraft previously and resumed back its flight operation in the aim if providing service to local people in festive seasons. Despite NAC received approval to conduct flight twice a week but due to lack of passengers, the flight has not been effective.

Previously, the municipality paid NRs. 565 Thousands to airlines companies after resuming its services from Chaitra.

Qries

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According to Bhimsen Panta, chief of social branch of Baglung Municipality, the municipality paid 1 lakh 30 thousand to Tara Air and 78 thousands to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) in the month of Chaitra whereas 1 lakh 69 thousand to Tara Air and 97 thousands to NAC on Baisakh. Similarly, in the month of Jestha, the municipality paid 91 thousand for ticket price of 14 passengers to Tara Air this year.

In 2022 BS, the construction of the Baglung-Pokhara road was completed and after that in 2048, the airport came to a closure. Although the initiative was taken to bring the airport into operation several times but it did not get meaningfulness.

Baglung (Balewa) Airport is situated at Narayanthan Municipality of Baglung District, Province No. 4. At an elevation of 990 m. /3248 ft. above mean sea level. The airport provides the flight service under the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and has Clay/Grass Surface runway with its dimension of 608 m x 30 meter aligned to 010 degrees and 190 degrees. The airport currently has two parking capacity which can accommodate the STOL aircraft like DHC6 Twin Otter, Harbin Y12 and Cessna Grand Caravan C208.

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